(FOX News Latino / AP) - Pope Francis kicks off his first trip to Mexico on Saturday with speeches to the country's political and ecclesial elites, riding in on the success of his historic meeting in Cuba with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
During a three-hour stop in Havana on Friday, Francis embraced Patriarch Kirill and with an exclamation of "finally" took a momentous step toward closing a nearly 1,000-year schism in Christianity.
The two religious leaders signed a 30-point joint declaration of religious unity that committed their churches to overcoming their differences. Francis tweeted that the meeting was a "gift from God."
Francis and Kirill also called for political leaders to act on the single most important issue of shared concern between the Catholic and Orthodox churches today: the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being killed and driven from their homes by the Islamic State group.